Thursday, February 23, 2012

To Solo... One of These Days

February 23, 2012
Paine Field
Cessna 152
1.5 hours, 8 landings

I'm trying so hard to get to solo its killing me! My goal; solo by my 20th birthday which is quickly approaching. Only a month to go, and I still feel like I'm getting nowhere!! It's so frustrating. Today, my CFI asked if it was possible to get in 2 flights a week, I'll have to think of something. I know he'll only let me go up if I'm safe and ready, so there's really no point in stressing out about it nor rushing it. I'm just a goal orientated person, and when I started my flight training back in October I told myself I'd fly the plane by myself before I turned 20. Wow, do I feel old. But anyways, I'm running out of time and feel no more confident now then I did 5 or so lessons ago. I feel fine taking off and doing my pattern work. It's just those darn landings that are killing me! I'll also admit part of me is absolutely terrified in every single way to solo.... though I will surely be discouraged if I am unable to solo by my birthday I know I won't let it get too me to much because I don't feel ready to be thrown out of the nest just yet. In fact, I don't feel like I'll ever be ready.

Back to my flight training, this lesson was more steep turns (which I'm slightly getting better at, at least I feel as though I am), stalls are looking pretty nice, just need to work on my recovery a bit. The wings dropping have no effect on me, my leg just automatically kicks the rudder in on its own accord( well not really kick), I hardly even notice when I do it. Then we did slow flight, which I've got down once I'm in it. But, for the life of me I cannot figure out how to get into slow flight by PTS. I start to go into it and I'm literally all over the place. I've discussed with my instructor about throwing trim in there. Maybe, that will be my key. Hopefully, I'll remember it for the next time we start slow flight. My problem I've realized is that it doesn't matter how much I know about the procedure and how it needs to be done. I have to feel it for myself, feel the airplane reacting and then react to the airplane myself. If that makes sense...

Total cost invested thus far: $3970

Friday, February 10, 2012

Too Windy for my Taste

February 10, 2012
Pain Field- Jefferson- Arlington- Pain Field
Cessna 152
2.0 hours, 5 landings

My CFI had me visit a different airport today, which apparently has a really good pie place? He had me fly us there using the sectional, and figure out what direction I would be landing. It was simple enough flying there, only a rock through away from my home airport. I didn't do so well on the landing, ballooned it. The crosswinds were pretty bad though, so we went to Arlington to do some touch and goes there instead. We also worked on slow flight as usual and some stalls. At this point my radio skills at an uncontrolled tower are SO much better! I can confidently make the calls, no problem. In fact the only radio calls I continually mess up on are when I'm coming home to ask clearance for landing. The Tower just spits so much out at me and so quickly, I never know what I HAVE to say back, or even where to start. I'll get it down eventually though.. hopefully.

This was also the first flight I did while it was raining, and I thought it was the collest thing ever seeing the rain hit the window and just move away! I loved it, I don't know how to explain it, but I was sitting there laughing staring at the rain drops rather than the outside scanning for planes (whoops...) but that's what my CFI is there for right...? Us student pilots occasionally get distracted. Once I noticed I wasn't paying attention I got back on my game. Thankfully, my CFI didn't seem to notice.. We also saw a rainbow! It took every bone in my body to continue flying at the heading my instructor had told me, instead of chasing the beautiful colors in the sky.

Unfortunately, on our way home one of the runways were closed and the only one open had something on the runway so we had to circle over the water till we could be cleared to land. The wind was bumping us all over the place which was making me sick to my stomach, so my CFI took control of the airplane for awhile (thankfully). He got us clearance to circle over the runway in an attempt to get away from the winds over the water, which helped ease my stomach a lot. I wasn't close to puking, how horrible would that have been! But I was slightly nauseated, and for the first time was happier than ever to get out of that plane.

Total cost invested thus far: $3691

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Today, I applied for a scholarship which its deadline is next Friday. I asked my flight instructor and pilot mentor to both write up recommendations for me. I can only hope I can get it so I can get my private pilots sooner and start on my instrument. This is going to be the first of many scholarships that I’ll be working on. I realized that it's going to take me years to get where I want if I continue at the rate I'm going. I really want to have my private pilots by the end of summer and hopefully my instrument rating by next summer. My love for flying and anything aviation related just keeps growing. It's gotten to the point where all I want to do is be at the airport. I wonder if this fascination will ever fade? I surely hope not! Lately, I live to be in that beautiful sky. If I could fly everyday I would! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Radio Work- Uncontrolled Airport

February 2, 2012
Pain Field
Cessna 152
1.5 hours, 6 landings

Today, was a good day. We went back to Arlington and I was on the radios for the first time at an uncontrolled airport. I was of course, a disaster the first time. My call wen a little like this;

“Arlington Traffic, Cessna one two three turning………. (long pause while still holding the mike in) left… (second long pause) crosswind 34R…..?”

I stuttered out the last part and I forgot to end with Arlington traffic. It was bad. My instructor went on to say, “It helps to say it in your head first and then say it aloud.” Part of me wanted to shove him out of the plane at that moment. Like I hadent repeated it to myself a bunch already! My reponse? “I did think of it before I said it! I even wrote it down!” My problem is, is that I have mike fright to the max that seems to be getting progressively worse. You’d think it wouldn’t be bad because I’m at an uncontrolled airport, but nope. I’m still a disaster over the radio. I don't get it either, because usually this isnt an issue for me. I'm a quiet person at times, but when I need to I have no fear of speaking up. I just don't understand why my mike fright is so horrid! 

After that howerver, It wasn’t so bad. And after another circuit I had it down. I really don’t know what my issue is, I’m not afraid of talking over the radio, I’m not afraid of Tower. I wish I knew how I could get over this without having to go through the hard way. But if it’s the hard way that'll teach me, then so be it, because at least I’m learning now with my instructor and not going out on my own and being completely lost. Today, was also another days of slow flight and power on/off stalls. My slow flight is coming together amazingly, my biggest issue right now is the entry, once I nail that I think I’ll be comfortable practicing slow flight all day everyday.

Total cost invested thus far: $3325

Thursday, February 2, 2012


January 24, 2012
Pain Field
Cessna 152
1.5 hours, 4 landings

Touch and go
Waiting for him to complete his touch and go

After not having gone flying in almost two weeks I’m rusty. I felt like I had to be walked through every single maneuver, I’m sure I frustrated my instructor. I was frustrated at myself! We worked on just some manuvers over the water today. Slow flight, steep turns, power on stalls, then we went back for my first landing on the big runway. My stalls are starting to really come together nicely, and once im in my slow flight I've basically got in down (at least for this week I do, who knows how I will be next week!). 

As I was doing the usual touch and goes Tower basically yelled at me and told me to make my pattern more squared as I come into my landings. I will admit my pattern work was more sloppy than usual. I think it has to do with the fact that the runway is just so big compared to what I'm used to and the illusions were throwing me off.

The airwaves were super busy I wonder if I’ll ever be able to focus on the airwaves and fly the plane efficiently. It sure doesn’t seem like it to me. I know I’m ever slightly improving on my landings though, so that’s nice. Besides my last landing, I bounced for the first time in awhile, that was a little discoraging. Also, my instructors mike wasn’t working so I had to make all the calls, which made it even more difficult for me. It’s all still so overwhelming. When will I feel like I’ve got a grasp on things? I still feel like I’m on my second or third lesson. Its ridiculous. I still love it more than ever, I just feel like I'm hardly making progress.